|Volume LVIII||November 2011||Number 4|
Why Would You Move Anywhere Else?
The family of Freemasonry offers a certain quality, grandeur and closeness which Masons and Eastern Star members have become accustomed to, but which many other people rarely experience.
The Masonic Villages are no different. In fact, why would a Mason or Eastern Star member move anywhere else?Masonic Village at Dallas
At the Masonic Village at Dallas, Bro. John and Edna Bozette can't think of anywhere else they'd prefer to retire. In fact, in November 2010, they moved to Dallas from sunny Florida.
"Later in life, you depend on friends. We felt that this is where we wanted to be - where our friends are," Edna said. She belongs to Springhill Chapter No. 323, Order of the Eastern Star in Florida, and many other Masonic organizations for ladies in Florida and Pennsylvania. "There are so many things you can do here that it's unbelievable. You could be busy every day of the week."
"But only if you want to!" Bro. Bozette added. A member of Brandywine Goddard Lodge No. 383, Coatesville, Bro. Bozette's resume also includes Past Potentate of Raja Shrine and Past Grand Tall Cedar. So it takes a lot to slow this man down.
However, days before moving to Masonic Village, Bro. Bozette broke five ribs. Despite their Sunday arrival, on Monday, they were in the emergency room. "[Executive Director Noah Davis] and his wife came to visit us while we were at the hospital. They didn't have to do that!" he said. "All the staff look after you no matter what comes your way."Masonic Village at Elizabethtown
Bro. Ken Burkholder, Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown, has been talking to his wife, Kathy, about moving to a retirement community since he turned 40. They visited Masonic Village at Elizabethtown's cottages after seeing a newspaper ad. They thought the lifestyle was nice, but they desired something different. That's when the marketing department introduced them to the Sycamore Apartments, and they found the perfect place to call home. "We liked the idea of being around people," Bro. Burkholder said. "It didn't take us long to move in."
"We were in a retirement rut. ... Our life was 'blah.' When we came here, there was just so much to do. We're able to interact with people more, and it's just a friendly atmosphere. ... I think living here has opened up a whole new door and whole new life to become involved in. You can become as involved or uninvolved as you want to. You have that choice here."
In Bro. Burkholder's case, he not only became involved in the community, he joined the fraternity. "I saw how well the Masons work here through Masonic Village. I just saw the good that the Masons do. Since then, I have become a Mason," Bro. Burkholder explained.Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill
Bro. Don Sirianni, Hiram Lodge No. 81, Philadelphia, was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, so when he decided to move to a retirement community about five years ago, Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill topped his list.
Bro. Sirianni with a friend, Eleanor Rankin, during a recent photo shoot.
"I met the greatest bunch of people," he said. "Everything is great here. If you want to be active, you can really be active. They have everything here: a wellness center, bowling alley and library with many books. With our HO trains, we even started a miniature train club."
Bro. Sirianni maintains a small garden off of his patio. "When the folks walk by at night, they're always picking a cherry tomato or chewing on an herb. Everyone's told to help themselves. In fact, we've used my herbs at the dining room for some fresh basil or thyme."
Bro. Sirianni has found Masons with a passion for helping each other. "Some of the men upstairs in the nursing and personal care areas cannot get out and up the flights of steps you often need to climb to make it to a lodge room," Bro. Sirianni explained. So, residents began to ask local lodges to hold meetings at the Masonic Village. Twice now, when a resident decided to join Freemasonry, his fellow residents formed a degree team and held the conferral of the third degree at the Masonic Village so Masons who otherwise could not attend lodge witnessed the occasion.
"The camaraderie is great here," Bro. Sirianni said. "I know it was the best move I could make."Masonic Village at Sewickley
When Bro. Bob Lenhardt, P.M., Acacia Lodge No. 355, Blairsville, and his wife, Jean, Latrobe Chapter No. 221, Order of the Eastern Star, moved to the Masonic Village at Sewickley in June 2011, a quarter of the villa residents invited them over for dinner. "When you find out a person shares the Masonic affiliation, it's usually a very pleasant experience, and that is just multiplied here," Bro. Lenhardt said.
Many people asked the Lenhardts why they moved to a retirement community in their 60s.
"From the standpoint of a life decision, it's a mystery to me how so many people can move through their lives and be successful, but they have no plan for their [retirement]. ... Here at Sewickley, the place has a lifecare design. In their system, your costs do not significantly increase if your health deteriorates. As your needs change, you are cared for without the worry and hassles that would go along with needing a greater amount of money," Bro. Lenhardt said. "A person should make these types of decisions and make the move when they're healthy enough to take advantage of all the offerings here and young enough to handle the burden of moving."
"We're just so pleased that all the decisions are made, and now we have so much relief. We just feel so much more relaxed because we don't have that in the back of our minds," Jean added.
Bro. and Jean Lenhardt surrounded by friends (left) Bro. Bill and Marlene Moisey,
Doric Lodge No. 630, Sewickley, and (right) Bro. Bob and Paige Herbert, Chartiers
Valley Lodge No. 725, Pittsburgh.
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